[lg policy] California: Berkeley Sees Admission of Latino Students Drop and Nonresidents Jump

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 15 14:20:50 UTC 2010

Berkeley Sees Admission of Latino Students Drop and Nonresidents Jump
By Josh Keller

San Francisco

The University of California at Berkeley plans to enroll 12 percent
fewer Latino freshmen this fall than last, an effect blamed partly on
its revenue-generating move to more than double the number of students
it admits from outside California.

The drop in Latinos, California's fastest-growing group, was believed
to be due in part to Berkeley's shift toward nonresident students, who
pay much higher tuition and are overwhelmingly white or Asian. About
23 percent of next year's freshman class is expected to come from out
of state, a sea change for a campus that enrolled only 11 percent of
those students a year ago.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Berkeley's chancellor, Robert J.
Birgeneau, said that the drop in Latino students was not as
disproportionate as it may seem, citing a large number of Latinos who
were admitted with this fall's class but will enroll in the spring. He
also said the inclusion of Latino transfer students would make the
decline much less significant.

Berkeley's numbers were part of the University of California system's
release on Wednesday of a tally of the students who said they intended
to enroll at one of its nine undergraduate campuses in the fall. In
contrast to Berkeley, the number of Latino students rose steadily
systemwide, including increases on six of the eight other
undergraduate campuses. The proportion of white students systemwide
dropped to a record-low 27 percent.

Freshman-admission numbers at the University of California are closely
watched in the state as a key indicator of whether the state's prized
public universities are serving its diverse population. The flagship
campuses, in Berkeley and in Los Angeles, have struggled to enroll
significant numbers of black and Latino students, constrained by
budget cuts and a state ban on affirmative action in admissions.

In other areas, Berkeley and other campuses had more success
attracting underrepresented minority students. Berkeley managed to
keep its number of black students fairly steady, averting a fear among
some faculty members that their numbers would drop. San Diego expects
a slight increase in black students — from 1.3 percent to 1.7 percent
of the freshman class — despite highly publicized incidents of racial
tension this year.

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